Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat
The Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath having
nearly four decades of purposeful existence has become the cultural landmark of Karnataka,
its usefulness assuming archival proportions. After its establishment in 1960, it
straightaway started conducting art exhibitions at both the state and national levels,
besides ORGANISING conferences and workshops. An art school, named Chitrakala Vidyalaya,
was added to its bludgeoning activities in the year 1964.
Appajaiah the current principal of the college who is also a wonderful artist
(painting) and a backstage personality has played a considerable role behind the success
of Chitrakala Parishat and College of Fine Arts.
Survey of Treasures
The year 1966 saw the Parishath grow in stature with both the Central and State lalitkala
Academies according recognition to it. This naturally attracted the attention of artists
and art-lovers. At about the same time, the Parishath undertook a survey of the State's
art treasures like the historic Mysore traditional paintings and leather puppets of
similar antiquity. The survey, a first of its kind, yielded rewarding and far reaching
results, the collections accrued from it forming invaluable source material for study and
With the grant of spacious land from the State Government and liberal financial help from
individuals, its dream of having a building of its own was fulfilled. With that, the
activities also increased manifold, each winning the approbation of dignitaries not only
in the country, but also from abroad. The Governments at the State and the Centre, as also
international organisations like the UNESCO kept up their uninterrupted liaison with the
Parishath and its work, often extending their patronage in more than one way.
As the Parishath started attracting more participation of artists, it set up a fully
equipped graphic workshop and a sculpture studio. They are working in full swing, meeting
the needs of artists.
Founded in 1975, it has four nominees of the government besides a few well-known public
figures. Mr. S.M. Krishna, a founder trustee, is
its current President.
It is fortunate that Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde and Dr. Jeevaraj Alva, the current President of
the Parishath, kindly agreed to be its trustees.
The Parishath's galleries are attracting exhibitions of not only well-known artists of
India, but also from abroad. Many foreign countries have also displayed exhibitions
pertaining to their heritage in these halls. Quite a few handicraft organisations of
Indian States have also found it beneficial to organise their displays in the Parishath
from time to time.
The Parishath's permanent collection is steadily growing. Dr. S. Roerich, one of its
closest associates, donated a sizeable number of his father's and his own paintings to it.
Two exclusive gallery floors have been erected in his memory, where these invaluable works
are on a permanent display.
Similar is the munificence of Mr. H.K. Kejriwal. He has not only donated his rare
collection of art and artifacts, but has donated handsomely to raise a separate gallery
for their display. To promote the talents of young artists a H.K. Kejriwal Award for 6
young artists, is instituted from the year 1998.
Internationally recognised graphic artist, Dr. Krishna Reddy has kindly gifted his
valuable graphic prints exhibition to the Parishath. Some popular paintings of Mr. S.S.
Kukke are the other additions to this list. The Mysore traditional style of painting,
which was almost extinct was revived by the Parishath under the guidance of Master Artist
Y.Subramanaya Raju. It has reached new dimensions today.
The memory of Dr. Svetoslav Roerich has been perpetuated solidly by setting up a Roerich
Institute of Fine Arts imparting foundation courses to students. The Chitrakala Vidyalaya
established in 1964 was duly upgraded as a College of Fine Arts, affiliated to Bangalore
University. It is a landmark in the field of higher education in fine arts. The students
graduate themselves in one of the specialisation like Painting, Sculpture, Applied Art,
Graphic Art or Art History. The college with a student strength of 350 and 25 teachers is
an ideal centre of creative pursuits.
More recently, the post-graduate, course was bifurcated from College of Fine Arts by the
Bangalore University. Now known as Chitrakala Institute of Advanced Studies (CIAS), it has
50 post-graduate students and seven registered for Doctoral studies, guided and trained by
well qualified faculty members.
The Parishath has initiated and probed into the various areas of research in the field of
visual arts. South India is like an open air museum and the Parishath is conducting
fundamental research in exploring the enormous material laid therein.
COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, KARNATAKA CHITRAKALA PARISHATH
Bangalore has been a
landmark for contemporary art in South India. The city has Chitrakala Parishath which
attracts many international and national shows. The important institution set up by the
Parishath, College of Fine Arts has produced some of the established and upcoming artists
in the country. The college has been at par with other institutions in the country like
Baroda and Shantiniketan. The quality of art education has set a standard in Art Education
in the country.
Says Sri. S.M. Krishna, the Chief Minister of Karnataka and President of Karnataka
Chitrakala Parishath Trust. "Karnataka Chitrkala Parishath has grown into an
art institution and a cultural space with exhibition galleries and a permanent collection
of ancient and contemporary art.
The Art Complex has become a landmark in our country's history of Art.
...Our efforts to establish and activate this space since 3 decades with artist camps,
workshops and international exhibitions has also culminated in this celebration. Our
galleries have been venues for many important shows in South India and will continue to
open up new spaces for wider interaction." The ever dynamic General Secretary, Prof.
M.S.Nanjunda Rao, has been the driving force behind the Parishath and the College of Fine
Arts. The staff comprises
of Senior Artists like the Principal K. S. Vishwambara, Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal and
other experienced teachers from reputed art institutions like Baroda and Shantiniketan.
The college offers a Bachelor's degree called Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A). The
qualification is S.S.L.C and an aptitude towards Visual Arts. The selection of candidates
is by a practical examination and personal interviews. The Roerich College of Art is an
integral part of the Parishath offering the B.F.A courses.
The college also offers Masters in Fine Arts (M.F.A). An extension called Chitrakala
Institute of Advanced Studies (CIAS) has been established to cater to the ever increasing
demand for Master degree courses.
B.F.A - 5 year Course
2 years of Foundation and 3 years of specialisation
Commercial Artists - Advertising / Design
Professional Artist / Designer
Professional Artist / Designer
Professional Artist / Designer
Art Historian, Art Critic, Lecturer,
Archeology, Museology, Research etc.
M.F.A - 2 year Course (offering same specialisations)
These technical courses provide a broad spectrum of choices according to the aptitude of
the students and are not watertight courses. The students can choose from the ever
increasing demand in Advertising Agencies, Textile Designing, Interior Decoration, Product
Design, Exhibition Design, Art Consultants or work as professional fine artists -painters,
sculptors and print-makers towards individual exhibitions at commercial galleries.
Many scholarships have been instituted by the Parishath to enable needy artists and merit
students to continue their education. Many private and public trusts provide grants for
Art Education and further studies in India and abroad.